‘We will fight to save Saltford green belt’

RESIDENTS are being encouraged to make their voices heard about the possibility of 1,300 new homes being built in Saltford.

More than 150 people who attended a public meeting at Saltford Hall were told that options included in the proposed Local Plan for Bath and North East Somerset had put the green belt under threat.

The meeting was arranged by B&NES ward councillors Duncan Hounsell and Alison Streatfeild-James, who said: “We will work to protect the green belt at Saltford.

“There are many planning reasons why the options at Saltford should not be used to meet the wider area’s future housing needs.

“Saltford is a large rural village. These large-scale options, with 800 houses south of Saltford and 500 houses west of Saltford, would change the essential character of Saltford.

“We ask that residents take part in the official public consultation to register their views.”

Guest speakers at the public meeting included B&NES cabinet member Cllr Matt McCabe, Cllr Jon Godfrey, chair of Saltford Parish Council, and Cllr Phil Harding, chair of the Saltford Environment Group.

Cllr Harding told the meeting: “If we as a community don’t make a strong case to stop inappropriate development, piece by piece Saltford will become a town, lose its rural village status and will be consumed within a continuous urban sprawl from Bristol.”

The Local Plan, which sets out how development will be planned for, will be adopted in 2025 and cover the period until 2042.

An “options document” has been published listing where housing could go, not should go.

The list includes large sites around south and west Saltford, Whitchurch, Keynsham, and Hicks Gate.

After a period of public consultation, a draft Local Plan will be produced, which will eventually go to hearings led by an independent planning inspector.

Residents can submit their views in the public consultation on these options until April 8 via the B&NES website – https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/local-plan – or by post to Local Plan Consultation, B&NES, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath BA1 1JG.

Pictured at the public meeting (left to right) are councillors Matt McCabe, Jon Godfrey, Alison Streatfeild-James, Duncan Hounsell, and Phil Harding